What to consider when preparing a SWPPP

Qualifications are key

If you are writing a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for the first time or writing one for an area you haven’t before, make sure you are qualified. Each state has different requirements and beyond that, each local area has different requirements.

Know what permit you are working with

When using a template, ensure that it’s current, for the correct state, and even for the correct permit. Using an outdated or incorrect template will leave the project at risk for hefty fines and violations.

Consider the project location

A good design will minimize erosion and control sediment. If you’re unfamiliar with the project area, chances are something will be missed, like high relief terrain or strong winds. Take the time to actually drive to the project location and see for yourself what it’s like.


It’s very common that contractors will not install Best Management Practices (BMPs) per the plans. Communicate with the field staff to see if there are alternative BMPs they prefer to use that will still accomplish the same goal; for many situations there are. This will minimize frustration for both parties.

Don’t write a SWPPP and walk away

A SWPPP is a living document that changes with the project. There is almost always an amendment needed as the project progresses to cover surprises that come up such as changes in the project design or scheduling delays.